A 1974 Citroën DS23 is currently leading the Peking to Paris Rally, which set off from China on 28 May.
Faced with severe flooding in the early stages of the trip, the DS of Australians Robbie Sherrard and Peter Washington had already excelled before the Endurance Rally association competition moved to Mongolia’s challenging Gobi Desert.
There they were met by a mix undulating plains and punishing gravel tracks.
The Citroën was soon tussling for the lead with the 1973 Leyland P76 of fellow Aussies Gerry Crown and Matt Bryson. The Leyland came out on top in the first trial, before the DS snatched back the lead by more than two minutes.
Following close behind the top pairing was the 1970 Beetle of Americans John and Brett Layzell.
In the Vintageants group for pre-war cars, it was the 1940 Ford V8 Coupe driven by Mike Reeves and BBC TV presenter Michelle Jana Chan that took the lead.
Their nearest rivals were Brits Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown in a 1937 Chevrolet ‘Fangio’ Coupe, followed by the 1928 4½ Litre Bentley of Denmark’s Lars and Annette Rolner in third.
The tough conditions took their toll on competitors’ machines, with a rare 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster suffering from a broken half-shaft, while a 1964 Mercury Park Ward was sidelined with gearbox problems.
The next leg of the route will take participants to Russia, passing near Moscow and St Petersberg, before travelling on to the Ukraine.
To find out more visit the event’s website.